Solar FAQs

Why are landowners, especially farmers, in our area interested in solar, and are they rushing into things?

The loss of tobacco and dairy incomes, age, and family dynamics are all factors here. Any business may need to change its plan as economics dictate. Your neighbors who signed solar options did not make these decisions in haste or without legal counsel.

When people claim solar is being “rushed” they ignore the fact that Solar regulations have been on agendas of the Maysville Mason County Planning commission since May 1, 2019.

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What are the criteria used to place a solar farm?

The amount of acreage and proximity to transmission lines are the most important factors.

Here is a video with more details.

Will solar farms have any kind of screening or landscaping?

If Maysville Mason County adopts solar regulations based on the  Center for Economic Policy’s Kentucky Model Ordinance Solar Zoning Ordinance, then Solar companies will be required to use new or existing vegetation, berms, and/or install fencing to visually screen the solar equipment.

Read more about the model ordinance

What is it like to live near a utility-scale solar farm?

The land solar farms are put on is safe and healthy for wildlife. Wildlife is able to cohabitate on solar farms because there are no dangerous chemicals or electricity in the ground. This is helping the environment out a lot.

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What are setbacks that we hear so much about?

A setback is a minimum distance which a building or structure must be from a street, road, house, or adjacent property.  Each solar project is unique. Setbacks must consider each solar project and its actual neighbors.

Read a brief history of setbacks

Will my home’s value drop if it is close to a Solar Farm?

Recent matched pair comparisons show that there is no discernible impact on property values when solar farms are located near residential, agricultural, or industrial properties.

Read more about how solar impacts nearby property values

Does a solar installation produce a lot of noise?

Only the solar inverters and transformer produce a low hum.  These are located in the center of the array of solar panels.  They convert the direct current (DC) output of the solar panel into alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid.

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How safe are solar panels in severe weather?

Natural disasters, such as hail storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, can damage anything in their path. Modern solar panels are built strong enough to withstand most storms, hail, and winds. Solar companies carry insurance to cover the storm damage that does occur.

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What is the risk of environmental contamination from solar farms that reach the end of life?

There is very little risk if the developer uses poly- or monocrystalline silicon solar panels, which do not contain harmful chemicals or gasses. These panels contain mainly silicon, aluminum, and glass. Since they are solid materials (as opposed to liquid), there is no risk of “leakage” of fluids or gasses if the panels crack or break.

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What happens to a site after the useful life of a solar farm?

Because the solar farm only minimally disturbs the land, the land can be returned to its native condition once the plant has completed its operational life.

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How are old solar panels dispose of?

They can be sold as ‘refurbished’ panels to residential customers at a reduced price, or they can be recycled and sold for scrap metal. Most solar companies guarantee to carry out the disposal themselves.

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Will cadmium telluride photovoltaic panels contaminate solar farm sites?

Research demonstrates that Cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV panel. pose negligible toxicity risk to public health and safety while significantly reducing the public’s exposure to cadmium by reducing coal emissions.

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How do solar farms impact the community tax base?

Local tax districts will typically receive $244.38 from one acre of Solar, compared to the $7.58 per acre average farmland now contributes. This 3124% increase can have this result when considered over the 30-year life, if 6,000 acres, less than 4% of Mason County’s farmland, is Solar.

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Will property tax revenue from solar farms help Mason County Schools?

Over 30 years 6,000 acres of solar will contribute an additional $8,300,000 of property taxes to Mason County Schools. Even after the SEEK formula is considered Mason County Schools will gain over $26,000 in net revenue each year.

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Will water runs-off be affected by a solar farm versus a crop field?

All solar farms are subject to strict guidelines for stormwater drainage as well as for environmental permitting. Each site will go through a rigorous planning phase.

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Do Solar Panels Need to Be Installed in Direct Sunlight?

Solar panels produce electricity from the photons present in natural daylight, rather than from the sunlight itself, so panels don’t actually need to be installed in direct sunlight to work. Heat isn’t a factor in how much electricity PV solar panels can generate either so a cool Spring day can be as productive, if not more than a hot Summer day.

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Will water runs-off be affected by a solar farm versus a crop field?

All solar farms are subject to strict guidelines for stormwater drainage as well as for environmental permitting. Each site will go through a rigorous planning phase including the following: 

  • Delineation of the site watersheds
  • Identification of internal drainage areas
  • Completion of high level calculations (typical reports rely on the rational method for calculating peak flows)
  • Confirmation that storm-water management is or is not required for the site
  • Estimation of the scale and locations to accommodate the required storm water storage

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What is the fire risk of a Solar Farm?

Solar farms require immense capital investments to construct. The longer a Solar farm can generate electric power, the better its return on investment. This reality makes those providing the capital require stringent construction standards and conscientious maintenance.

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Do you have facts to support the Pro-Solar mailer?

See mailer and Read more